FoodWorld

Food shortage stares Ghana in the face-Dr Abu Sakara Foster

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There is looming food shortage in Ghana.

This was revealed by a renowned Agriculturalist and Politician; Dr. Abu Sakara Foster in a write-up to the Ghana Agriculture and Rural Development Journalists Association (GARDJA).

“The depletion of global food stocks coupled with local effects of drought and floods has put the adequacy of Ghana’s food supply in 2021 at serious risk” he wrote and explained that here in Ghana, droughts and floods in various parts of the country played significant roles in depleting food reserves.

He also explained that the gains made by planting for food and jobs, supported by the buffer stock scheme are insufficient to make up for the crop losses of 2020. “This looming food shortage was further exasperated by the extraction of maize and rice from Ghana by our neighbours in the Sahelian belt namely Niger, Burkina and Mali. Ghana was meanwhile distracted with its election and did not take preventive action” he observed.

Dr. Abu Sakara further observed that the net result of these combination of global and local events is that food prices (namely maize and beans) will increase sharply in response to increased demand and reduced supply. “Indeed this trend is already visible with maize increasing from 120gh per bag to 180 per bag in Damongo. Similar increases have occurred in other areas in the northern sector. The recommendation to farming communities is not to sell too much maize, rice and beans, because you may have to buy them back at even much higher prices later in 2021” he opined.

He called on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to as a matter of urgency, take actions that will cushion the effects of this food shortage in the medium term by funding recovery from crop losses in order to maintain and possibly expand planted area to recover from the effects of covid-19 and our localized weather impacts.

He also suggested that in the long term Ghana must fund more irrigation projects that ensure larger areas are cropped under irrigation. “Such increases in irrigated area must however be coupled with highly efficient water use technologies like N-Drip technology and also cost effective energy supply from renewable sources like solar” adding that “a retweaking of existing programs within a revised framework for up scaling operations that have attained modest gains in productivity, is essential to making further progress more rapidly and at lower costs”.

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